92116

SOC 101

 Introduction to Sociology

Allison McKim

M  W      3:10-4:30 pm

OLIN 202

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies   Sociology is the systematic study of social life, social groups, and social relations. The discipline views the individual in context of the larger society, and sheds light on how social structures constrain and enable our choices and actions. Sociologists study topics as varied as race, gender, class, religion, the birth of capitalism, democracy, education, crime and prisons, the environment, and inequality. At its most basic, the course will teach students how to read social science texts and evaluate their arguments. Conceptually, students will learn basic sociological themes and become familiar with how sociologists ask and answer questions. Most importantly, students will come away from the course with a new understanding of how to think sociologically about the world around them, their position in society, and how their actions both affect and are affected by the social structures in which we all live. Class size: 22

 

92117

SOC 135

 Sociology of Gender

Allison McKim

M  W      11:50-1:10 pm

OLIN 204

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies The primary goal of this course is to develop a sociological perspective on gender. We will examine how gender becomes an organizing principle of social life as well as consider how social structures and practices construct gender identities. We will investigate how gender is built into social structures, institutions, and cultures, and how different groups experience this gendered order. The course is organized according to different institutional and interactional contexts, including families, workplaces, schools, the state & politics, sexuality, culture, and identity. Our discussions will be guided by both theoretical approaches to gender and a variety of empirical research. A second goal of this course is to become familiar with various sociological theories of gender difference and inequality. A third goal is to learn how gender inequality is intertwined with other axes of power such as race/ethnicity, class, and sexuality and how to conduct such “intersectional” analysis of social life. In addition, students will learn to identify and evaluate various forms of sociological evidence and arguments.  Class size: 22

 

92118

SOC 138

 Intro to Urban Sociology

Peter Klein

M  W      10:10-11:30 am

RKC 102

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies  More than half the world’s population now lives in urban areas. Thus, the study of social and political dynamics in urban centers is crucial if we are to understand and address the pressing issues of the contemporary world. This course will allow students to explore these dynamics through an introduction to urban sociology: the study of social relations, processes, and changes in the urban context. We will begin by reading perspectives on the development of cities, followed by an examination of how the city and its socio-spatial configuration affect and are affected by social interactions, particularly across gender, race, and class lines. The course will then consider the relationship between globalization and the modern city before concluding with a few examples of how citizens address the challenges in their communities. Throughout, we will explore the diverse methods that social scientists use to understand these dynamics, and students will have the opportunity to utilize some of these methods in an investigation of a local “urban community.” This foundational course is of interest to EUS concentrators but does not fulfill EUS program and focus area requirements.  Class size: 22

 

92122

SOC 141

 Culture, Society, and Economic Life

Laura Ford

 T  Th    1:30-2:50 pm

HEG 201

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies  This course will introduce students to sociological principles and perspectives through a focus on the economy. We will begin by asking the obvious question: why would sociologists study the economy? We will briefly explore three “classical” answers to this question, which come from foundational thinkers: Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim. Most of our time, however, will be spent with contemporary authors in the new and developing field of “economic sociology.” These authors help us to see the ways that the economy is “embedded” in society and in culture: in worldviews, in moral frameworks, and in social-relational structures. Topics covered in the course will include: (1) social patterns of consumption, (2) commodification of emotion in the service economy, (3) roles of law and social action in the branding of products and places, (4) social foundations of modern, industrial capitalism, and (5) social, moral, and legal meanings of money.  Class size: 22

 

92121

SOC 205

 Intro to Research Methods

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th    11:50-1:10 pm

HDR 106

MC

MATC

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies; Human Rights  The aim of this course is to enable students to understand and use the various research methods developed in the social sciences, with an emphasis on quantitative methods. The course will be concerned with the theory and rationale upon which social research is based, as well as the practical aspects of research and the problems the researcher is likely to encounter. The course is divided into two parts. In the first, we will learn how to formulate research questions and hypotheses, how to choose the appropriate research method for the problem, and how to maximize chances for valid and reliable findings. In the second part, we will learn how to perform simple data analysis and how to interpret and present findings in a written report. For a final paper, students use data from the U.S. General Social Survey (GSS) to study public attitudes toward issues such as abortion, immigration, inequality and welfare, affirmative action, gender roles, religion, the media, and gun laws.  By the end of the semester, students will have the necessary skills for designing and conducting independent research for term papers and senior projects, as well as for non-academic enterprises.  Admission by permission of the instructor.  Class size: 15

 

92124

SOC 231

 The Environment & Society

Peter Klein

M  W      1:30-2:50 pm

OLIN 201

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies; Human Rights; Science, Technology, Society The world’s environmental problems and their solutions are not merely technical. These are profoundly social issues as well. This course uses examples such as food systems, fracking, health disparities, and natural disasters to critically assess the relationship between society and the environment at local and global scales. In doing so, we cover four topics that are central to environmental sociology. First, the course explores how people collectively understand and frame environmental issues. Second, we examine how social structures, political and economic institutions, and individual human actions shape and disrupt the natural environment. Third, we analyze the social consequences of a changing natural world, focusing on the unequal distribution of the benefits and burdens of environmental change. Finally, students will critically examine the ways that scholars, policymakers, and citizens are responding to the many contemporary environmental challenges. Class size: 22

 

92123

SOC 238

 Law and (Social) Order

Laura Ford

 T  Th    4:40-6:00 pm

OLIN 202

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Human Rights   What is law, and how does it work?  Does law contribute to social order, or is it simply a tool for violent oppression?  What do we mean by “social order”?  Is it something that we want?  These are questions that have interested sociologists and legal theorists for a long time, and that we will be tackling in this class.  We will begin by considering the historical development of western legal systems, and the ways those legal systems have contributed to the political communities of western Europe.  This will help us to see how classical sociological thinkers – especially Marx, Weber, and Durkheim – drew on legal concepts and traditions in formulating their theories of social order (and disorder).  Then, shifting between historical and theoretical perspectives, we will study the myriad ways in which law is impacting, and is impacted by, the social forces of the modern world.  We will focus especially on the role that law plays in making modern, industrialized capitalism possible.  Additional topics considered in the course will include: intellectual property and corporate organization, law in a globalized world, and the relationship between law and religion.  Class size: 22

 

92125

SOC 247

 The American Family

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th    3:10-4:30 pm

OLIN 201

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies  Why do people date and marry? How do we choose our partners? What explains the rise in childlessness? Do parents love their children equally? What are the causes of the feminization of poverty? Does parental divorce have an impact on children’s well-being later in life? This course explores these and other questions related to the role of the family in people’s life and in society. Focusing primarily on family patterns in the United States, the course introduces a life-course approach to explore various stages of family formation (e.g. partner selection, cohabitation and marriage, childbearing and parenting, divorce and remarriage). Shifting our attention to the broader role of the family in society, we consider the relationships between the family and other social institutions, and examine primary areas of sociological research that intersect with family life, such as socialization, gender roles, aging, immigration, education, work, social mobility and inequality.  Class size: 22

 

92126

SOC 326

 AdvANCED SemINAR: Punishment AND Society

Allison McKim

   Th       1:30-3:50 pm

OLIN 309

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; American Studies; Human Rights The United States began a world-historic transformation of its criminal justice system in the 1970s that led to the highest incarceration rate of any nation. Lesser sanctions like probation also expanded, policing changed form, and new modes of social control proliferated throughout social institutions. This advanced seminar delves into recent research on this punitive turn and the role of punishment in society. Students will read cutting-edge studies of various parts of the penal system, including the prosecutors, courts, juvenile detention, prisons, and police. We will examine aspects that get little attention, such as fines, treatment programs, and the use of big data. The course digs into new research on the social and political roots of mass incarceration and the carceral state, especially their relationship to welfare policy, inequality, and racial politics. We will consider punishment in its larger context and its relationship to broader forms of social control. This includes examining the lives of formerly incarcerated people, the multiple ways that women of color are policed, and popular depictions of drug users. Through this course, students will learn how we got here and to think rigorously about what could be done about it. Prerequisite: By permission of the instructor, or successful completion of SOC 224 Punishment, Prisons, and Policing .  Class size: 15

 

 

Cross-listed courses:

92227

PS 109

 Political Economy

Sanjib Baruah

M  W      3:10-4:30 pm

ASP 302

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies; Human Rights; Sociology